Chennai: Mother dies by suicide days after mishap with baby

Ramya’s family told the media that she had been suffering from postpartum depression since the birth of her second child, and her condition exacerbated after the fateful incident involving the baby.
Representative Image of a woman in silhouette
Representative Image of a woman in silhouette
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A 33-year-old woman from Chennai died by suicide on Saturday, May 18, days after a video involving her seven-month-old baby went viral. The video showed Ramya's baby dangling from a temporary sunshade on the first floor, after slipping from her hands and falling from a fourth-floor balcony. Neighbours quickly rescued the infant, but many on social media had accused the mother of negligence.

Ramya’s family told the media that she had been suffering from postpartum depression since the birth of her second child, and her condition exacerbated after the fateful incident involving the baby. She was also undergoing online counselling for depression, as per media reports.

Ramya, her husband, and their child had arrived at her paternal home in Karamadai two weeks ago. On May 18, while her parents were attending a function, Ramya was left alone in the house. Upon their return, they found her unconscious. Despite rushing her to a nearby hospital, she was declared brought dead.

Postpartum depression is a mental health disorder that could happen to new mothers who just gave birth. It could manifest as severe mood swings, depressive episodes, crying spells, bouts of anger or sadness, insomnia, feelings of dissociation from the self, extreme helplessness, self-isolation, and so on. It can usually be treated with medication and counselling.

If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide prevention organisations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families.

Tamil Nadu

State health department's suicide helpline: 104

Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu)

Andhra Pradesh

Life Suicide Prevention: 78930 78930

Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584

Karnataka

Sahai (24-hour): 080 65000111, 080 65000222

Kerala

Maithri: 0484 2540530

Chaithram: 0484 2361161

Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.

Telangana

State government's suicide prevention (tollfree): 104

Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200

SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 am and 7 pm)

Aasara offers support to individuals and families during an emotional crisis, for those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and to those undergoing trauma after the suicide of a loved one.    

24x7 Helpline: 9820466726 

Click here for working helplines across India.

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